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Where The Wild Things Are

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Basic Info:

Director: Spike Jonze

Producer(s): Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Maurice Sendak, John B. Carls, Vincent Landay

Writer(s): Spike Jonze, David Eggers, Maurice Sendak (book)

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Running Time: 1 hr 41 min.

Rating: PG (Mild thematic elements, some adventure action, and brief language)

Release Date: October 16, 2009

Plot Summary: The film tells the story of Max, a rambunctious and sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are. Max lands on an island where he meets mysterious and strange creatures whose emotions are as wild and unpredictable as their actions. The Wild Things desperately long for a leader to guide them, just as Max longs for a kingdom to rule. When Max is crowned king, he promises to create a place where everyone will be happy. Max soon finds, though, that ruling his kingdom is not so easy and his relationships there prove to be more complicated than he originally thought. --© Warner Bros.



Max Records: Max

Catherine Keener: Max's Mother

Mark Ruffalo: Mother's Boyfriend

James Gandolfini: Carol

Lauren Ambrose: KW

Catherine O'Hara: Judith

Forest Whitaker as Ira

Chris Cooper: Douglas

Paul Dano: Alexander

Michael Berry Jr.: The Bull

  • Full Credits Listing


    Tomatometer: 69% (10/19/08)

  • Fresh: 103
  • Rotten: 47
  • Consensus: Some may find its dark tone and slender narrative off-putting, but Spike Jonze's heartfelt adaptation of the classic children's book is as beautiful as it is uncompromising.

Top Critics:

There’s a certain amount of pain in Where the Wild Things Are, but it’s completely earned. The movie fills you with all sorts of feelings, and I suspect children will recognize those feelings as their own.

-- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

[Jonze has] achieved with the cinematic medium what Sendak did with words and pictures: He's grasped something true and terrifying about love at its most unconditional and voracious.

-- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Director Spike Jonze's sharp instincts and vibrant visual style can't quite compensate for the lack of narrative eventfulness that increasingly bogs down this bright-minded picture.

-- Todd McCarthy, Variety

Something doesn’t quite jell, and no matter how gorgeous each set piece is, it doesn’t always entirely add up to a complete and satisfying narrative. I couldn’t help but think, from time to time, how on earth were these guys allowed to make this movie?

-- Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer

Personal Review:

It was quite the disappointment to me, and perhaps a little bit of an insult, when I found out that the critics have been notably split on the quality of Where The Wild Things Are. The basis of this rift is that the film has thin narration which I simply cannot deny. As far as exposition goes, Wild Things could easily be considered an uneventful drag. A boy makes mischief, imagines the creatures and the island they inhabit to cope, and returns home once he's done with the rumpus. It could easily be said that bad fanfiction has more in the way of story, and in that regard Wild Things fails considerably. But this also rings true for its original source material, something constantly cited as a cornerstone of children's literature.

The book is not a 300-page Shakespearean opus, but a ten-sentence detailing of a boy's particular coping measure for his feelings. It's debatable what the risks would've been had the entirety of the fable been given more orthodox elaboration and mainstream studio treatment, but it's far less arguable that such a risk with a story this precious just wouldn't have been one worth taking. Instead, the film is a videographic translation of Max's feelings and thoughts, a snippet of his present psyche that echoes violently of the dormant feelings we all had during our early childhood; The anger at not being paid attention to at the moment, the cathartic loneliness once we've screamed, the imagination to conjure up creatures like the Wild Things, and the fear of our repercussions are universal, just like Sendak's book. As an emotional (and visual) treat, as an exploration and detailing of character and theme, and as a work of art, Wild Things succeeds exceptionally, blowing even the likes of Pixar out of the water.

Go and see this film for the nostalgia, the wonder, and the tears it will undoubtedly invoke in you. Go and see it for a masterful example of characterization and voice work. Go see it for the beautiful cinematography. Skip it if you have a constant reliance on narrative.



Premiere Photos, Posters, & Production Stills

Featurettes, Interviews, & B-rolls


Artist: Karen O and The Kids

Producer: Spike Jonze, Carter Burwell, Karen O

Label: DGC, Interscope

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySUthGfpWUk– 1:48

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– 4:12

– 2:43

– 1:53

– 5:10

– 2:59

– 4:10

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TsN_0yflTI&feature=channel– 3:32

– 2:44

"Sailing Home" – 1:02


It goes without saying: Discuss, inquire, rant about, and coddle what is probably going to become my utmost favorite film of the decade.

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I saw this movie yesterday with my family (Including my Dad, to my surprise who usually doesn't like going to the movies. Eh, Nostalgia reasons I guess.)

Man, I haven't read the book in a looooong time, but it's still around in my sister's book shelf. I remember Where the Wild Things Are was a book my parents read to me when I was younger.

The movie? I thought it was fun to watch. Pretty dark and strange at times but that certainly is not a bad thing.

I wont spoil anything, but I certainly enjoyed this movie!

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I just got back from watching it a second time. That saying, it was by myself, but I love it obviously, <3.

I was mainly surprised that it was more of a movie about children than a movie for children for the most part. I thought the way that they handled the monsters with Max was genius. This movie definitely needs a grown-up and mature mind to catch all of it, that's for sure.

Like usual, I love the main character, Max, the most. Though I couldn't relate to him on 100% of his problems, there were quite a few that hit home, mostly the

fact that he didn't have friends. I didn't have many friends, if any at some points, growing up; all the way until 8th grade actually. I don't think I was trouble some, but I only had one parent as well. Opposite, but it was only my dad with me since my mom passed, so I felt like I could relate when seeing Max's mom date strange new people. So, like Max, I'd have my places to run to when the real world around me got tough. Hell, I still do.

I didn't have an older sibling though, I actually took Max's sister's role on that part. Me and brother just grew apart after awhile. But enough about my sob story, XD. I'm trying to get to the point that I love this movie so much because I feel so much for Max and can relate.

I'm among the many kids that have read the book when they are younger, and this film does it's justice. If anyone is unsure about seeing this movie or not, I highly, highly recommend it. It's gotta be my favorite movie of this year so far.



Oh, by the way, awesomely made topic, <3. I can't stop listening to the soundtrack, ^_^. I need to buy the score version though, but it seems that you can only purchase it digitally, but I'm not a 100% sure. I've only seen it for download on iTunes and Amazon so far. Does anyone know anything about this, =o?

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I'm a bit on the fence with this film to be honest. Something about it is just not appealing to me, though I feel as though at some point or another I am going to have to see this film. It seems to have an interesting concept and story to it, but maybe I'm just crazy and the art direction is throwing me off, I'm really not sure. Never read the book(s) so there's not much attachment here, either.

Ah well, we'll see, I guess XP

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I didn't read the book as a kid, but I read it last year and I don't really like it but I think that's more to do with the art style. I think Max looks weird, like a small adult in the book. I don't think I'll see the film unless someone I know happens to get it on dvd.

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